Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for October 2011

Happy Halloween (from Brooklyn)

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How does the coolest city in the World decorate for Halloween . . . like its Christmas of course!  Here are some (awful, apologies in advance!) pictures of the decorations in our neighborhood.

I’m taking Halloween off this year.  Wray and Jon’s wedding + bowling tonight = no time to dress up.  We did buy candy, of course, hopefully someone will trick or treat tonight so I don’t eat the entire bag of peanut butter cups.  Looking forward to seeing your pictures from this evening!


Written by bevanddara

October 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Holidays

Bloggers Quilt Festival

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(I won’t tell you the winner.)  I’m watching the Project Runway finale on Friday night, while writing our blog.  Perhaps I should e-mail Heidi and tell her  that I’m multitasking while watching the show 24 hours after it was on TV.   I actually don’t care who wins this season. I hope the producers call me so I can give my opinion about how to fix the show, so I can return to being a PR Superfan. 

I might put an entry in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.   It’s an online quilt show.  This is how to enter:

  • Write a new post (old posts will be deleted).  Share one quilt, and it’s story.  Why you made it, why it is special to you, what you learned about quilting/yourself while making it.  The quilt doesn’t have to be brand new, never seen before on your blog – show what you like!  Also, please respect my efforts and the efforts of the event sponsors, and do not offer giveaways in your Quilt Festival post.

Here are some quilts I think are interesting:

I love basket quilts, these are almost “purselike” which I enjoyed.

This blogger is from Germany.  (Baby quilt potential?)  I HAVE to make a quilt with words!


I love color, but I like prints.  I am drawn to simple quilts like this, but for some reason like to make complicated pieces. 

Here is a combination of what I think you and I would like-modern and colorful.

And one last one for someone for whom I have bought neon orange thread. (You)

Here’s a link to the main page, I’m SURE you will want to see more!

Written by bevanddara

October 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Posted in Project Runway, Quilts

Two-fer Book Review

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It’s a two-fer book review today.

First I finished a book of a type that I don’t typically read. 

It is the final summer in Maine for the Kelleher family, and its four strong-willed women are dreaming of bare feet, cocktails at sunset, and that magical ocean air. Alice is the matriarch, a regular fixture at morning mass, and an equally regular fixture in the wicker chair on the sun porch where she spends all afternoon drinking manhattans and smoking cigarettes. Maggie is Alice’s granddaughter, a thirty-two-year-old writer who has just realized she’s pregnant, a fact she has yet to tell her off-again boyfriend. Maggie’s mother, Kathleen, is the prodigal daughter, camped out in California, wishing desperately to avoid the annual Kelleher showdown. And Ann Marie, Alice’s daughter-in-law, is the long-suffering martyr and avid dollhouse collector who is determined to keep this chaotic household in order.

Over the course of this summer, long-held secrets are revealed, embarrassing crushes bloom, and gallons of vodka are consumed. While Alice must face reminders of a devastating tragedy, Maggie has to decide what to do about Gabe and the baby, Kathleen comes face to face with the woman she most fears, and Ann Marie desperately tries to maintain the image of a perfect family.

I could not put the book down. It was an “all families are dysfunctional” book.  I really wasn’t ready for it to end.

Next up, a typical read for me – a mystery.

The thrilling new Virgil Flowers novel from the #1 “New York Times”-bestselling author. The superstore chain PyeMart has its sights set on a Minnesota river town, but two very angry groups want to stop it: local merchants fearing for their businesses, and environmentalists predicting ecological disaster. The protests don’t seem to be slowing the project, though, until someone decides to take matters into his own hands. 400,000 print. (Espionage/Thriller)

I love Virgil Flowers.  He is a very interesting character.  I also like that John Sanford still writes good books, unlike some authors lately who seem to just be resting on their laurels.

Written by bevanddara

October 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Book review-Bev

Harper + Miller Girl = Super Cuteness

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Written by bevanddara

October 26, 2011 at 8:29 am

Posted in Random

F Jane Update

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It’s a good thing that I read your blog entry after dinner.  Please start warning me when you write an entry that contains 70,000 calories.  The thin person featured for Dough was dining on my favorite donut – blood orange.  Dough might have been one of the few places on that list that I’ve actually eaten at.  I believe you might be falling down on the ” keep up with the in place to eat  job.”

Last night Kathy(Comer) and I were surprised at Dear Jane by Dora and her Daughter. Dora has added the triangle borders to her Dear Jane masterpiece!

After completing 169 4 1/2 blocks, you make the triangles on the border.

Dora’s quilt is made from Civil War reproduction fabrics.  The original maker of the quilt sewed this during  the Civil War.

I can’t tell you who this version is being made for – it’s a giant secret, but I’ve talked about it following visits to City Quilter in NYC:


And to show you another version of the quilt – MINE!!!

This picture is for Kim B. and anyone else considering making the quilt.  Notice Kathy’s fingernail . . . notice the size of the piece going into one of the blocks.  

My parents are brilliant only making quilts with large blocks!!!!!!

Written by bevanddara

October 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Posted in Quilts

I Have to Agree With GQ

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GQ recently named Brooklyn as the Coolest City on the Planet (for 2011).  I have to agree with them, especially since 80% of the places in the Eaters Guide are a hop, skip and jump from our new condo (the girl eating the Dough doughnut below is KILLING ME!)
Brooklyn is the Coolest City on the Planet: An Eater’s Guide
November 2011
Don’t take that as a knock on Manhattan, which is doing just fine. But for the first time since, well, ever, you can spend every New York minute of your trip on the far side of the East River and never feel like you’re missing out. Here’s how to explore the place where everything’s happening before it’s happening 

The Scuttlebutt at Saltie is stuffed with feta, hard-boiled egg, and pickled vegetables.

If you want an egg-white omelet with soy cheese, you’re in the wrong place. The best Brooklyn joints are the ones that reverse-engineer morning staples—the egg-and-cheese sandwich, meat hash, the Bloody Mary—and rebuild them as hunger-crushing masterpieces.

Mile End
Boerum Hill
This Montreal-style deli is where we take our Canada-sized hangovers. The cure? Smoked-meat hash with two sunny-side-up eggs, potatoes, and perfectly burnt nuggets from Mile End’s famous brisket.

Seriously, it’s called Egg, and should your “breakfast” be postponed to the early afternoon, you can still get an omelet, scrambles, or, if you want our advice, the Eggs Rothko: an over-easy egg in brioche, topped with Grafton Cheddar.

Char No. 4
Carroll Gardens
Southern-style comfort food has no business being this good this far north. And while every main dish is delicious, the sides seal the deal: creamy grits, a biscuit with bacon gravy (bacon gravy!), and a bourbon Bloody Mary.

You’re here for the Ship’s Biscuit—scrambled eggs and fresh ricotta on cloud-fluffy focaccia.


To understand how seriously Brooklyn takes java, watch the baristas at Gimme! Coffee in Williamsburg pour a cappuccino. That delicate foam rosette means the milk was folded into the locally roasted espresso so you taste both in every sip. And you can get a straightforward cup of excellent brew at Café Grumpy (Park Slope or Greenpoint).But true coffee geeks have to stop by Williamsburg’s Blue Bottle (pictured), where the Japanese slow drippers look like lab equipment and take over twelve hours to brew your twelve ounces of Kyoto iced coffee. The $4 price tag seems like a bargain.—Oliver Strand




Go big with the turkey-leg sandwich at Henry Public, in Cobble Hill, which makes you wonder why you ever bothered with white meat. If you’re in Williamsburg, tuck into a burger from legendary Peter Luger Steakhouse (est. 1887)—a blend of prime chuck and trimmings from the world-famous dry-aged porterhouse—or try some haute street food at Smorgasburg if the weather’s nice. 

Dinner here isn’t about celeb chefs, starched napkins, or calling months ahead to get a table. You’re more likely to find reclaimed wood and a paper menu that changes nightly. It’s about the food, not the flash.

A feast at Fatty ‘Cue

Fatty ‘Cue
At first it seems heretical to blend straight-up barbecue with Southeast Asian flavors. Then you eat the brisket with chili jam packed into bao buns and realize it’s deliciously blasphemous.

Want a microbrew and one of New York’s finest pizzas? This joint way out in postindustrial “East Williamsburg” is your place. It also does a tasting menu worthy of a Michelin star, and a pulpo that’ll make your Spanish grandmother weep.

La Superior
The tiny tacos—try the tender lengua (that’s beef tongue) and the fierce, garlicky shrimp—offer the most flavor per square inch of any dish in any borough. And they’re dwarfed by supersize $10 margaritas.

The rabbity garganelli at Five Leaves

Five Leaves
When Heath Ledger died, he left plans for an unfinished restaurant. So his estate helped build this laid-back spot that serves all day and does no wrong. It’s where you’d eat a perfect burger and act normal if you were incredibly handsome and famous.

Carroll Gardens
The longest five days in recent Brooklyn history? When Lucali shut down after owner Mark Iacono got stabbed in the gut by a reputed mobster. He was soon back at the oven, turning out the blistered-crust pies that led GQ‘s Alan Richman to name Lucali’s the second-best pizza in America.

Vinegar Hill House
Vinegar Hill
You’ll think this place has spent decades tucked away on its quiet cobblestone backstreet, but that’s just the cooking—elevated farmhouse fare like a Red Wattle pork chop that tastes best in the House’s backyard.

Carroll Gardens
Chef Robert Newton, native of Arkansas, has planted the flag of the South (thankfully not the Confederate one) in Carroll Gardens. He dishes out sophisticated takes on below-Mason-Dixon classics (your bourbon-brined ham, your shrimp and grits) made with Michael Pollan-friendly ingredients. He also serves house-fried potato chips and house-picked vegetables with local Six Point beer, making Seersucker the perfect place for your NASCAR appetite to meet your NPR lifestyle. 

“If you’re in Brooklyn, you gotta go by my cousin, Cake Man Raven. You can’t fake a good red velvet cake, you know? It’s a family recipe that was passed down from our grandmother, and Cake executes it just like she did back then. He started out baking in his house, and the next thing you know, Spike Lee and Bill Cosby are asking for the cake. You gotta take breaks from it, it’s so rich.”


Written by bevanddara

October 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

Posted in Food


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That’s right – went outside the box and joined a bowling league.  It’s every Monday (starting tonight) until early December at Brooklyn Bowl.

Wish the “Pin Down Girls” luck (I came up with that name.  :)).

Written by bevanddara

October 24, 2011 at 8:26 am

Posted in Random